We visit a ter­raced show home in Hob­sonville Point

Auck­land is on the path to higher-den­sity liv­ing. To find out what this looks like, we vis­ited a show home in the brand-new sub­urb of Hob­sonville Point

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - Text by An­nick Larkin. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Emma MacDon­ald.

With ur­ban house prices – es­pe­cially in Auck­land – mak­ing cen­tral-city liv­ing un­achiev­able for many, house-buy­ers are turn­ing their at­ten­tion to the out­skirts of ma­jor cen­tres where large-scale devel­op­ments are boom­ing. Auck­land’s Uni­tary Plan now al­lows for higher hous­ing den­sity so this seemed like the per­fect time to visit a brand-new devel­op­ment and get an in­sight into how our ur­ban land­scape is evolving.

Hob­sonville Point is a 20-minute drive north­west of Auck­land’s CBD and was, un­til re­cently, a New Zealand Air Force base. It is be­ing ex­ten­sively de­vel­oped – 750 dwellings are al­ready built and there are plans for about 5000 in to­tal. The project is be­ing fa­cil­i­tated by the Hob­sonville Land Com­pany, a sub­sidiary of Hous­ing New Zealand, and will take at least 10 years to com­plete.

The scale of the devel­op­ment might sur­prise you. Rather than just a sub­di­vi­sion, it’s a planned com­mu­nity. A decade from now, Hob­sonville Point, with its har­bour­side lo­ca­tion and at­trac­tive streets, could have

5000 res­i­dences (ter­races, apart­ments and stand-alone houses), pro­vid­ing homes for 10,000-15,000 peo­ple.

The land has been di­vided into precincts; Hob­sonville Vil­lage, which only three years ago was work­ing farm­land, is one of those cur­rently be­ing de­vel­oped. A to­tal of 95 homes are planned here and they are sell­ing at a rate of one to four a week. The first home­own­ers

are due to move in later this month. A range of ameni­ties is right on the doorstep, in­clud­ing a large park across the road, a bowl­ing club, re­tail out­lets, schools and a su­per­mar­ket nearby.

With a des­per­ate need for more hous­ing in Auck­land, the coun­cil is work­ing with builders and de­vel­op­ers to cre­ate ‘Com­pre­hen­sive Devel­op­ments’.

“These are new com­mu­ni­ties with a higher ra­tio of hous­ing per hectare,” ex­plains An­drew Olsen, re­gional sales man­ager for Mike Greer Homes Auck­land. “They take into ac­count amenity fac­tors such as out­door space ac­ces­si­ble from the liv­ing area, park­ing and views from win­dows.” This ap­proach de­liv­ers homes that are com­fort­able and well-de­signed places to live, de­spite the smaller land size.

Although there may once have been a fear of cookie-cut­ter homes and a ‘one size fits all’ phi­los­o­phy, this seems to have been dis­pelled as buy­ers recog­nise the ad­van­tages of wellplanned, higher-den­sity com­mu­ni­ties.

In Hob­sonville Vil­lage, de­vel­op­ers have created hous­ing types that cater to a range of buy­ers. These in­clude two- and three-storey homes with two to four bed­rooms.

Although this devel­op­ment is still in its in­fancy, my first im­pres­sion of these homes is that they are solidly built, stylish and con­tem­po­rary. The Abodo tim­ber cladding was a big plus for me – a great de­sign choice that gives the ex­te­rior a high-end fin­ish.

Ad­di­tion­ally, as more peo­ple now work

Com­pre­hen­sive Devel­op­ments such as Hob­sonville Point pro­vide much­needed hous­ing and blur the lines be­tween ru­ral and ur­ban liv­ing

re­motely, some of the homes have been de­signed with this in mind to in­clude a front ground-floor room that could be used as an of­fice or busi­ness premises in­stead of a bed­room.

I was keen to learn how much in­put the buyer has into the home’s de­sign and lay­out when buy­ing off the plans. Be­cause this is a Com­pre­hen­sive Devel­op­ment, the ex­te­rior de­sign, claddings and win­dows are all pre­de­ter­mined. As for the in­te­ri­ors, cus­tomers can of­ten choose from a se­lec­tion of colour schemes, with op­tions for door styles and hard­ware, plus elec­tri­cal and ap­pli­ance up­grades.

A two-bed­room apart­ment at Hob­sonville Vil­lage is around $650,000 and the cheap­est four-bed­room, two-bath­room stand-alone house I could see across the devel­op­ment was un­der con­tract for $1.039 mil­lion. All vil­lage sites are free­hold but there is an an­nual Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion fee for the man­age­ment of the laneways and com­mon gar­den ar­eas.

Com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ments such as Hob­sonville Point pro­vide much-needed hous­ing and blur the lines be­tween ru­ral and ur­ban liv­ing. Although I strug­gle a lit­tle with the uni­for­mity of such big devel­op­ments, there are a range of de­signs on of­fer, and it is good to see many of the site’s orig­i­nal build­ings are be­ing kept to pro­vide char­ac­ter and a link to the com­mu­ni­ties that came be­fore.

AN IN­TRO­DUC­TION West Auck­land res­i­dent, Tracey D’Rose, ac­com­pa­nied us on our trip to Hob­sonville Point to talk us through the growth she’s seen in the area.

SPACE SAV­ING Hob­sonville is a “Com­pre­hen­sive Devel­op­ment” mean­ing more homes per hectare of land. Although these homes have a smaller foot­print, no space is wasted – here, the kitchen is clev­erly nes­tled into the space un­der the stairs.

Ter­raced houses can be bought as com­plete blank can­vases, al­low­ing new home­own­ers to add their own per­son­al­ity through home­wares and fur­ni­ture.

MAKE IT YOUR OWN

BATH­ROOM An el­e­gant, fully tiled en­suite with the lat­est prod­ucts from Methven com­pletes the mas­ter bed­room. Con­trast­ing ma­te­ri­als of tim­ber give the ex­te­rior a high-end fin­ish and com­ple­ment the con­tem­po­rary in­te­rior.

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